Contracts are the one
of the most important aspects of a business or other entity. The contract establishes the applicable warranty, indemnifications,
limitation of liability, scope of work, schedule, period of performance, terms and conditions, prices, requirements, references,
specifications, assumptions, service levels, tasks, deliverables, reporting, and other provisions governing a contractual
relationship. Today, many companies and other entities are requiring proactive contracts management for improved contractual
visibility, efficiency, economics, risk minimization, control, and operational performance.
Contracts management (according to CMBOK 3rd Edition) is the process of managing contracts,
deliverables, deadlines, and contracts terms and conditions while ensuring customer satisfaction. It does not end when the
contract is awarded. Contracts management is a mature profession, but still growing. It covers pre-award, award, and post-award. CMBOK
3rd Edition indicates (to some extent) that contracts management also includes certain specialized knowledge areas (R&D,
A&E/Construction, IT, Major Systems, Services, International, State/Local, Supply Chain, PBA, Government Property, Security,
Environmental, FMS) and certain business areas (Management, Marketing, Financial Analysis, Accounting, Budgeting, Economics,
. NCMA describes “Contracts Management”
as follows: Contracts management is a profession that includes many positions along the buying and selling
chain, including jobs within the federal government, industry, commercial businesses, academia, and more. Contracts management
professionals strive to: (1) Manage customer and supplier expectations and relationships, (2) Control risk
and cost, and (3) Contribute to organizational success. Contracts management integrates a broad set of
business disciplines and involves working closely with all areas and departments within an organization.
management involves the proactive management of a wide variety of commercial, international, government, collaborative, consortial,
relationship, and other agreements in accordance with best practices, applicable entity policies and procedures, compliance
programs, applicable laws, and the other requirements of the parties. It generally encompasses contract planning, contract
designing, contract drafting, contract negotiation, contract modification, contract administration, use of best practices,
contract close-out, contract assessment, lessons learned activities, and other similar items.
Contracts management can help
to improve contractual performance, reduce contractual risk, improve customer/provider satisfaction, and enhance the contractual
economics for the following types of entities: (1) sellers of products; (2) purchasers of products; (3) services
providers; (4) purchasers of services; (5) licensors or licensees of software, technology, and processes; and (6) the
parties to other types of agreements.
For example, here
are just some of the types of contracts that are appropriate for professional contract management by reviewing, analyzing,
red-lining, planning, designing, drafting, executing, amending, administering, applying best practices, closing-out,
terminating, and assessing/score-carding:
(1) For the Seller - - One-way & bilateral NDAs; teaming agreements; binding
& non-binding letters of intent; memorandums of agreement/understanding; joint cooperation agreements; strategic alliance
agreements, partnering agreements; services agreements; consulting agreements; environmental services agreements, business
process outsourcing agreements; IT outsourcing agreements; products agreements; master agreements with individual
work orders; statements of work; seller's terms & conditions of sale; assignment agreements; and subcontracts.
For the Buyer - - One-way & bilateral NDAs; teaming agreements; binding & non-binding letters of intent; memorandums
of agreement/understanding, joint cooperation agreements; strategic alliance agreements; partnering agreements, services agreements;
consulting agreements; products agreements; master agreements with individual work orders; statements of work; buyer's
terms & conditions of purchase; assignment agreements; subcontracts; sourcing documents; requests for information/quotes/proposals;
and preferred provider partnering programs/agreements.
(3) For the [Software] Licensor - - One-way
& bilateral NDAs; beta test agreements; evaluation agreements; end user agreements; shrink wrap/click wrap
agreements; pure reseller agreements; integrator agreements; value added reseller agreements; OEM agreements; ASP/SaaS agreements;
support agreements; maintenance agreements; training agreements; software consulting services agreements; lease of a license
agreements; source code license agreements; escrow agreements; technology transfer agreements; and patent/know-how licenses.
For the [Software] Licensee - - One-way & bilateral NDAs; beta test agreements; evaluation agreements; end
user agreements; shrink wrap/click wrap agreements; pure reseller agreements; integrator agreements; value added reseller
agreements; OEM agreements; ASP/SaaS agreements; support agreements; maintenance agreements; training agreements; software
consulting services agreements; lease of a license agreements; source code license agreements; escrow agreements; technology
transfer agreements; and patent/know-how licenses.
(5) Any other type of Agreement.
Effective contracts management needs to have the following four foundational aspects:
(1) centralized storage; (2) controlled access; (3) automated notifications; and (4) scalability.
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